## SPTK: Practical Filters

We know that ideal filters are not physically possible. Here we take our first steps toward practical–buildable–linear time-invariant systems.

Previous SPTK Post: The Laplace Transform Next SPTK Post: The Z Transform

Before we translate the Laplace transform from continuous time to discrete time, deriving the Z transform, let’s take a step back and look at practical filters in continuous time. Practical here stands in opposition to ideal as in the ideal lowpass, highpass, and bandpass filters we studied earlier in the SPTK thread.

## SPTK: The Laplace Transform

The Laplace transform easily handles signals that are not Fourier transformable by introducing an exponential damping function inside the transform integral.

Previous SPTK Post: MATLAB’s resample.m Next SPTK Post: Practical Filters

In this Signal Processing ToolKit post, we look at a generalization of the Fourier transform called the Laplace Transform. This is a stepping stone on the way to the Z Transform, which is widely used in discrete-time signal processing, especially in control theory.

Continue reading “SPTK: The Laplace Transform”

## SPTK Addendum: Problems with resampling using MATLAB’s resample.m

Sometimes MATLAB’s resample.m gives results that can be trouble for subsequent CSP.

Previous SPTK Post: Echo Detection Next SPTK Post: The Laplace Transform

In this brief Signal Processing Toolkit note, I warn you about relying on resample.m to increase the sampling rate of your data. It works fine a lot of the time, but when the signal has significant energy near the band edges, it does not.

## SPTK: Echo Detection and the Prisoner’s Dilemma

Let’s apply some of our Signal Processing ToolKit tools to a problem in forensic signal processing!

Previous SPTK Post: The Sampling Theorem Next SPTK Post: Resampling in MATLAB

No, not that prisoner’s dilemma. The dilemma of a prisoner that claims, steadfastly, innocence. Even in the face of strong evidence and a fair jury trial.

In this Signal Processing ToolKit cul-de-sac of a post, we’ll look into a signal-processing adventure involving a digital sting recording and a claim of evidence tampering. We’ll be able to use some of our SPTK tools to investigate a real-world data record that might, just might, have been tampered with. (But most probably not!)

Continue reading “SPTK: Echo Detection and the Prisoner’s Dilemma”

## SPTK: Sampling and The Sampling Theorem

The basics of how to convert a continuous-time signal into a discrete-time signal without losing information in the process. Plus, how the choice of sampling rate influences CSP.

Previous SPTK Post: Random Processes Next SPTK Post: Echo Detection

In this Signal Processing ToolKit post we take a close look at the basic sampling theorem used daily by signal-processing engineers. Application of the sampling theorem is a way to choose a sampling rate for converting an analog continuous-time signal to a digital discrete-time signal. The former is ubiquitous in the physical world–for example all the radio-frequency signals whizzing around in the air and through your body right now. The latter is ubiquitous in the computing-device world–for example all those digital-audio files on your Discman Itunes Ipod DVD Smartphone Cloud Neuralink Singularity.

So how are those physical real-world analog signals converted to convenient lists of finite-precision numbers that we can apply arithmetic to? For that’s all [digital or cyclostationary] signal processing is at bottom: arithmetic. You might know the basic rule-of-thumb for choosing a sampling rate: Make sure it is at least twice as big as the largest frequency component in the analog signal undergoing the sampling. But why, exactly, and what does ‘largest frequency component’ mean?

Continue reading “SPTK: Sampling and The Sampling Theorem”

## SPTK (and CSP): Random Processes

The merging of conventional probability theory with signal theory leads to random processes, also known as stochastic processes. The ideas involved with random processes are central to cyclostationary signal processing.

Previous SPTK Post: Examples of Random Variables Next SPTK Post: The Sampling Theorem

In this Signal Processing ToolKit post, I provide an introduction to the concept and use of random processes (also called stochastic processes). This is my perspective on random processes, so although I’ll introduce and use the conventional concepts of stationarity and ergodicity, I’ll end up focusing on the differences between stationary and cyclostationary random processes. The goal is to illustrate those differences with informative graphics and videos; to build intuition in the reader about how the cyclostationarity property comes about, and about how the property relates to the more abstract mathematical object of a random process on one hand and to the concrete data-centric signal on the other.

So … this is the first SPTK post that is also a CSP post.

Continue reading “SPTK (and CSP): Random Processes”

## SPTK: Examples of Random Variables in Communication-Signal Contexts

Some examples of random variables encountered in communication systems, channels, and mathematical models.

Previous SPTK Post: Random Variables Next SPTK Post: Random Processes

In this Signal Processing ToolKit post, we continue our exploration of random variables. Here we look at specific examples of random variables, which means that we focus on concrete well-defined cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) and probability density functions (PDFs). Along the way, we show how to use some of MATLAB’s many random-number generators, which are functions that produce one or more instances of a random variable with a specified PDF.

Continue reading “SPTK: Examples of Random Variables in Communication-Signal Contexts”

## SPTK: The Analytic Signal and Complex Envelope

In signal processing, and in CSP, we often have to convert real-valued data into complex-valued data and vice versa. Real-valued data is in the real world, but complex-valued data is easier to process due to the use of a substantially lower sampling rate.

Previous SPTK Post: The Moving-Average Filter    Next SPTK Post: Random Variables

In this Signal-Processing Toolkit post, we review the signal-processing steps needed to convert a real-valued sampled-data bandpass signal to a complex-valued sampled-data lowpass signal. The former can arise from sampling a signal that has been downconverted from its radio-frequency spectral band to a much lower intermediate-frequency spectral band. So we want to convert such data to complex samples at zero frequency (‘complex baseband’) so we can decimate them and thereby match the sample rate to the signal’s baseband bandwidth. Subsequent signal-processing algorithms (including CSP of course) can then operate on the relatively low-rate complex-envelope data, which is beneficial because the same number of seconds of data can be processed using fewer samples, and computational cost is determined by the number of samples, not the number of seconds.

Continue reading “SPTK: The Analytic Signal and Complex Envelope”

## SPTK: The Moving-Average Filter

A simple and useful example of a linear time-invariant system. Good for smoothing and discovering trends by averaging away noise.

Previous SPTK Post: Ideal Filters             Next SPTK Post: The Complex Envelope

We continue our basic signal-processing posts with one on the moving-average, or smoothing, filter. The moving-average filter is a linear time-invariant operation that is widely used to mitigate the effects of additive noise and other random disturbances from a presumably well-behaved signal. For example, a physical phenomenon may be producing a signal that increases monotonically over time, but our measurement of that signal is corrupted by noise, interference, or flaws in the measurement process. The moving-average filter can reveal the sought-after trend by suppressing the effects of the unwanted disturbances.

Continue reading “SPTK: The Moving-Average Filter”

## SPTK: Ideal Filters

Ideal filters have rectangular or unit-step-like transfer functions and so are not physical. But they permit much insight into the analysis and design of real-world linear systems.

We continue with our non-CSP signal-processing tool-kit series with this post on ideal filtering. Ideal filters are those filters with transfer functions that are rectangular, step-function-like, or combinations of rectangles and step functions.

## SPTK: Convolution and the Convolution Theorem

Convolution is an essential element in everyone’s signal-processing toolkit. We’ll look at it in detail in this post.

This installment of the Signal Processing Toolkit series of CSP Blog posts deals with the ubiquitous signal-processing operation known as convolution. We originally came across it in the context of linear time-invariant systems. In this post, we focus on the mechanics of computing convolutions and discuss their utility in signal processing and CSP.

Continue reading “SPTK: Convolution and the Convolution Theorem”

## SPTK: Interconnection of Linear Systems

Real-world signal-processing systems often combine multiple kinds of linear time-invariant systems. We look here at the general kinds of connections.

Previous Post: Frequency Response Next Post: Convolution

It is often the case that linear time-invariant (or for discrete-time systems, linear shift-invariant) systems are connected together in various ways, so that the output of one may be the input to another, or two or more systems may share the same input. In such cases we can often find an equivalent system impulse response that takes into account all the component systems. In this post we focus on the serial and parallel connections of LTI systems in both the time and frequency domains. Much more complex interconnections can be constructed from these two basic kinds of connections.

Continue reading “SPTK: Interconnection of Linear Systems”

## SPTK: Frequency Response of LTI Systems

The frequency response of a filter tells you how it scales each and every input sine-wave or spectral component.

We continue our progression of Signal-Processing ToolKit posts by looking at the frequency-domain behavior of linear time-invariant (LTI) systems. In the previous post, we established that the time-domain output of an LTI system is completely determined by the input and by the response of the system to an impulse input applied at time zero. This response is called the impulse response and is typically denoted by $h(t)$.

## SPTK: Linear Time-Invariant Systems

LTI systems, or filters, are everywhere in signal processing. They allow us to adjust the amplitudes and phases of spectral components of the input.

In this Signal Processing Toolkit post, we’ll take a first look at arguably the most important class of system models: linear time-invariant (LTI) systems.

What do signal processors and engineers mean by system? Most generally, a system is a rule or mapping that associates one or more input signals to one or more output signals. As we did with signals, we discuss here various useful dichotomies that break up the set of all systems into different subsets with important properties–important to mathematical analysis as well as to design and implementation. Then we’ll look at time-domain input/output relationships for linear systems. In a future post we’ll look at the properties of linear systems in the frequency domain.

## SPTK: The Fourier Series

A crucial tool for developing the temporal parameters of CSP.

This installment of the Signal Processing Toolkit shows how the Fourier series arises from a consideration of representing arbitrary signals as vectors in a signal space. We also provide several examples of Fourier-series calculations, interpret the Fourier series, and discuss its relevance to cyclostationary signal processing.

## SPTK: Signal Representations

A signal can be written down in many ways. Some of them are more useful than others and can lead to great insights.

In this Signal Processing ToolKit post, we’ll look at the idea of signal representations. This is a branch of signal-processing mathematics that expresses one signal in terms of one or more signals drawn from a special set, such as the set of all sine waves, the set of harmonically related sine waves, a set of wavelets, a set of piecewise constant waveforms, etc.

Signal representations are a key component of understanding stationary-signal processing tools such as convolution and Fourier series and transforms. Since Fourier series and transforms are an integral part of CSP, signal representations are important for all our discussions at the CSP Blog.

## Signal Processing Toolkit: Signals

Introducing the SPTK on the CSP Blog. Basic signal-processing tools with discussions of their connections to and uses in CSP.

Next SPTK Post: Signal Representations

This is the inaugural post of a new series of posts I’m calling the Signal Processing Toolkit (SPTK).  The SPTK posts will cover relatively simple topics in signal processing that are useful in the practice of cyclostationary signal processing. So, they are not CSP posts, but CSP practitioners need to know this material to be successful in CSP. The CSP Blog is branching out! (But don’t worry, there are more CSP posts coming too.)